Author Topic: USAF Avro F-95A "Can-Nuke"  (Read 70 times)

Offline Aeroplanedriver

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USAF Avro F-95A "Can-Nuke"
« on: Yesterday at 10:11:44 AM »
Recently completed for a 50s GB on the other Whif site. 

Kit is the Hobbycraft 1/48 Avro CF-100.  Fictional GAR-7 Pandora missiles are Tamiya 1/32 Sparrows.  Decals are from a Caracal F-94 set, plus a few spares box additions.  Crude MB seats from the kit were replaced by a pair of seats from a Monogram A-37.



The Avro CF-100 took a winding path to USAF service.  As with many allied foreign designs the USAF evaluated the aircraft, albeit for a ground attack role, where its range and payload were inferior to the competing British Canberra. 

Unfortunately, in 1954 the flutter issues that had plagued the early F-89s resurfaced, and after experiments to mitigate the issue it was determined an insurmountable design problem would made the aircraft prone to elevator flutter in certain flight regimes.  Performance envelope restrictions were placed on the Scorpion which severely limited its utility as an interceptor.

With the F-101 and F-102 suffering development delays and still several years from squadron service and Soviet air and nuclear power growing by the day this gap was seen as unacceptable.  A review of possible allied stopgap interceptors was launched.  While some in the USAF lobbied for the British Javelin, the US had already evaluated the CF-100 and found it to be a good platform, just unsuited to the ground attack requirement of the time.  A fresh look at its interceptor capabilities led to its selection in August 1954.  An order for 192 aircraft was placed that month, with US specific modifications including the fitting of 4x 20mm cannon in place of the 8x .50cal machine guns, US ejection seats, and the ability to carry the new Raytheon radar guided GAR-7 Pandora long range nuclear air-to-air missile. 

Renamed the F-95A Grizzly, the CF-100 entered USAF service in Autumn 1955.  Though planned as a short-term stop-gap interceptor, the Grizzly proved a capable aircraft that was popular with both crews and maintainers, and saw its service extended twice, finally leaving service with Air National Guard units in early 1965.  Despite its official “Grizzly” name, the F-95’s Canadian heritage and frequent carriage of the Pandora missile led to it unofficially being called the “Can-nuke” by those who flew and maintained it. 

This model depicts a USAF F-95A of the 29th Fighter Interceptor Squadron based at Malmstrom AFB in Montana where it served from November 1957 until the squadron received F-101 Voodoos in 1961.  It carries two wingtip mounted GAR-7 Pandora missiles.  This aircraft was the only one to launch a live Pandora missile and is now displayed at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

About Pandora:

The GAR-7 Pandora missile was developed to meet a requirement for a guided nuclear air-to-air missile to counter the threat of massed Soviet bomber squadrons.  The missile was built by Raytheon and developed from that company’s Sparrow radar-guided missile.  The Pandora used an airframe that was basically a scaled-up version of the Sparrow though it featured clipped mid-body guidance fins.  It carried a 1.1kt warhead, placing it between the sub-kiloton GAR-5/6 Nuclear Falcon missiles and the 1.5 kt AIR-2 Genie unguided rocket.  Its larger size gave it a range of 11 miles compared to 6 miles for the other nuclear air-to-air weapons.  The mission profile called for the illuminating aircraft to launch at a 10-mile range and reduce speed to maintain distance from the target.  The missile was guided to a two-mile range, at which point it calculated an intercept path that it flew in unguided mode while the launch aircraft turned away from the target and imminent blast.  The missile had a radar proximity fuse and had a lethal blast radius estimated around 250-300 meters.

Only one live firing of a Pandora was carried out, as part of Operation Plumbob John II in October 1959 when the aircraft depicted here launched a Pandora at an altitude of 20,000 feet over the Yuca Flats Test Site in Nevada. 









Offline apophenia

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Re: USAF Avro F-95A "Can-Nuke"
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 10:21:08 AM »
Very nice! Great concept, beautiful build & finish, and an excellent backstory!  :smiley: :smiley:

Your designation had me wondering what the RW F-95 was. According to Wiki, "... for political reasons the designation of the F-95 was changed to F-86D". Designation mystery solved ... but now I wanna know what those "political reasons" were  ???
Winnie-the-Pooh: "I wonder if you’ve got such a thing as a balloon about you?"

Offline jcf

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Re: USAF Avro F-95A "Can-Nuke"
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 10:27:13 AM »
Very nice! Great concept, beautiful build & finish, and an excellent backstory!  :smiley: :smiley:

Your designation had me wondering what the RW F-95 was. According to Wiki, "... for political reasons the designation of the F-95 was changed to F-86D". Designation mystery solved ... but now I wanna know what those "political reasons" were  ???

Budget dollar$, "it's just a derivative" is a classic smart-money move.
“Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple.
Sense doesn’t come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated shit
actually is than they ever are about
whatever’s supposed to be behind the
conspiracy.”
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Offline apophenia

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Re: USAF Avro F-95A "Can-Nuke"
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 10:31:44 AM »
Budget dollar$, "it's just a derivative" is a classic smart-money move.

Thanks Jon. That makes sense  :smiley:
Winnie-the-Pooh: "I wonder if you’ve got such a thing as a balloon about you?"

Offline finsrin

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Re: USAF Avro F-95A "Can-Nuke"
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 11:12:18 AM »
Very nice! Great concept, beautiful build & finish, and an excellent backstory!  :smiley: :smiley:

Your designation had me wondering what the RW F-95 was. According to Wiki, "... for political reasons the designation of the F-95 was changed to F-86D". Designation mystery solved ... but now I wanna know what those "political reasons" were  ???

Budget dollar$, "it's just a derivative" is a classic smart-money move.

 :smiley: As Jon and apophenia said and has great 50s aura  :smiley:

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: USAF Avro F-95A "Can-Nuke"
« Reply #5 on: Today at 01:03:36 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Gingie

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Re: USAF Avro F-95A "Can-Nuke"
« Reply #6 on: Today at 04:34:20 AM »
Beauty eh!

Offline robunos

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Re: USAF Avro F-95A "Can-Nuke"
« Reply #7 on: Today at 04:51:36 AM »
Ooohhh!! Me Likey Dis . . . !! 8)
Always had a soft spot for the CF-100, and the Scorpion . . .


cheers,
Robin.
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Whiff-y this way comes . . .